Pet Tips: Don't Choke Your Dog

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In honor of "Be Kind to Animals" Week, each day we are featuring an easy way for anyone to be kind to animals. And it wouldn't be complete without a day devoted to "man's best friend." (Don't worry, cat people—your day is coming.)

There are few things dogs love more than going for walks, but if you're using a prong or choke collar, you are turning something fun into something that could do a lot more harm than good to your dog. In addition to being painful and cruel, such collars are extremely dangerous and can cause asphyxiation, a crushed trachea, a bruised esophagus, crushed or fractured bones, fainting, bruising and damage to the skin and tissues of the neck, including discs, and other painful injuries. Dogs who are yanked and choked can also become frustrated, fearful, and aggressive. By contrast, adjustable harnesses, including the no-pull kind, help keep dogs safe on walks without hurting them.

And let's not forget the choke chain's wicked stepsister: the shock collar. These cruel collars—which deliver a painful shock whenever the dog's owner chooses to inflict punishment by pressing a button on a handheld device—can cause physical and psychological injuries, including burns, cardiac fibrillation, anxiety, and aggression.

If you see someone using a choke or shock collar on their dog, warn them about the dangers and urge them to switch to humane control and training methods that use positive reinforcement, not pain. 

Written by Michelle Sherrow


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